Posted on

22-year-old man gunned down inside SUV on Queens street

A 22-year-old man was gunned down inside an SUV on a Queens street on Sunday night, police said.

The victim was shot in the back while in the driver’s seat of a Range Rover near the intersection of 41 Street and 30 Avenue in Astoria at about 10:05 p.m., according to cops.

EMS took the man to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

No arrests were immediately made and police did not provide a suspect description.

Posted on

Suspected poacher trampled to death by elephants in South Africa

A suspected rhino poacher was killed in an elephant stampede at a South African national park on Saturday, officials said.

The man was among three suspected poachers spotted by rangers at Kruger National Park, the parks service said in a Sunday press release.

The trio fled when they were seen, and during their escape, ran into a breeding herd of elephants, authorities said.

One of the suspects was arrested, while another was found trampled to death.

A third suspect, who sustained an eye injury, escaped and remained on the lam late Sunday.

Rangers found a rifle, an axe and a bag that was left behind by the alleged poachers.

Posted on

Penske Media buys big stake in SXSW in bid to save festival: report

Penske Media Corp. — the publisher of titles including Rolling Stone, Billboard and Variety — has struck a deal for a 50 percent stake in South by Southwest, according to a report on Sunday.

The deal will give the popular Texas tech, movie and music festival a “lifeline” amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“It’s been an incredibly tough period for small businesses, SXSW included,” the event’s chief executive and co-founder, Roland Swenson, said in a statement.

“When [Penske founder] Jay Penske came to us with interest in becoming a partner, it was a true lifeline for us.”

The festival was dealt a financial blow after Austin officials canceled it last March over COVID-19 fears. SXSW laid off a third of its 175 year-round employees last summer, the report said.

This year, organizers said they would be going virtual-only, with the hopes of bringing the event back in person in 2022.

SXSW’s founders, who launched the festival in 1987, will continue to manage and operate the event, according to the Journal.

But Penske, the digital media company founded in 2004 by racing scion Jay Penske, will reportedly own the largest stake.

Posted on

Landry Shamet makes massive Nets statement versus Heat

This is the Landry Shamet that the Nets traded for.

The young guard had a career game in a losing effort against Miami, pouring in 30 points on 10-for-15 shooting with three assists and a thunderous baseline dunk.

Shamet’s 7-for-12 effort from deep tied the most 3-pointers off the bench in Nets history, and had Kyrie Irving regretting not finding him even more often.

“Amazing. Amazing. We’ve been talking, just in-between games with guys being out and where he can be more aggressive, and I feel like he found something. Just playing off the ball, playing with the ball in his hands, and then attacking the rim,” Irving said. “He played incredibly well. So we definitely down the stretch, as I look back on it, I’m looking at it like, ‘Why did I not get something open for Landry?’ Guy’s got 30 points. We should go with the hot hand. But you learn after the games. It’s 20/20 [hindsight].

“So moving forward, we’re definitely looking forward to him getting better and finding spots.”

After averaging just six points in December and 5.5 in January, Shamet has been white-hot lately. He’s averaging 17.0 points this month on 51.9 percent shooting from 3-point range, even taking on more point guard duties with James Harden out.

Landry Shamet (right) celebrates during today's Nets game.
Landry Shamet (right) celebrates during today’s Nets game.
NBAE via Getty Images

“The NBA’s all about opportunity and been thrown into having to play some point guard minutes following up Kyrie and alongside Kyrie,” said Shamet. “Ky’s been great. He’s taken me under his wing. Talks to me every day, believes in me. That goes a long way, knowing your teammates believe in you.“I’m chopping wood and carrying water every day. It gets tedious having to do the little things every day that you might not want to, but it adds up. I trust in that. When you keep doing that — working on off days, watching film, asking questions and believing in myself — whatever comes from that I’m living with, because I’m doing everything in my power to put myself in the best position.”

Harden, who has been out since the April 5 win over the Knicks with a Grade 1 right hamstring strain, is inching closer to returning. He joined the Nets on their road trip and could be back shortly. He just needs a few more days of full five-on-five high-intensity practice and he’ll be good to go.

“James is here. He worked out [Saturday],” coach Steve Nash said. “He’s definitely working out again [Monday]. So we’ll see. We keep inching, without incident, we keep inching closer to his return.”

Tyler Johnson is a little behind Harden, but progressing. The guard has been sidelined since April 4 with a sore knee. He’s been running and doing shooting drills, but no high-intensity work yet.

“He’s been doing some running. He’s definitely been doing rehab and strengthening, but I’ve seen him on the court shooting and running,” Nash said. “He has not played yet, so I’m not sure if that’s coming this week or not. It depends on literally every day, how he responds to his rehab and heightening his amount of mobility and activity. So we’ll see; but hopefully he’ll be back soon as well.”

Posted on

Rangers had to put Alexandar Georgiev’s knee ‘back into place’

Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev looked to be in grave pain when he was carried off the ice late in the first period of the Rangers’ 5-3 win over the Devils on Sunday afternoon, but he was back in net to start the middle frame.

The 25-year-old said after the game that his knee had locked, which head coach David Quinn mentioned has happened before.

“I felt pain on the side of the kneecap and couldn’t really bend the knee or put any pressure on it,” Georgiev said after the win. “I assumed I would be OK, we just needed to put it back into place. It was a little bit not in good shape. That’s a great job by our doctor to fix it pretty quick and I knew I would be good to play the second period.”

Quinn said the coaching staff opted to go with Georgiev in goal Sunday because of his stellar record when playing on four-plus days of rest (18-3-5, .930 save percentage entering the game). Georgiev hadn’t played since April 9, when he helped the Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Islanders.

It’s also safe to assume the staff wanted to rest Igor Shesterkin for the upcoming matchups with the Isles and Flyers. Quinn added that with 11 games left in the regular season, the Rangers are going to need two goalies to rely on with “a lot of hockey played in a short period of time.”

Alexandar Georgiev is tended to during today's Rangers game.
Alexandar Georgiev is tended to during today’s Rangers game.
Getty Images

“As far as his injury, it was something that’s happened in the past,” Quinn said. “Toward the end of the period, it happened. By the time we got in the locker room, he said, ‘I’m fine, I’m ready to get back in.’ There wasn’t a lot of discussion about it with the training staff. They were fine with it too.”

Defenseman Libor Hajek was scratched for the first time on Sunday against the Devils after appearing in 20 straight games, with Anthony Bitetto replacing him on the third defensive pairing next to Brendan Smith.

Bitetto, who was nursing a lower-body injury for some time, played in his first game since Feb. 24. Additionally, the 30-year-old and his wife, Casie, welcomed their first baby girl a little over a week ago.

“Well I just think Libor’s game has dropped just a little bit and Libor puts a lot of pressure on himself and sometimes the best thing to do is maybe take a step back,” Quinn said. “I like what I’ve seen out of Bitetto, even though we don’t practice a lot. We think he gives a little bit of a calming influence back there and makes good decisions with the puck.”

With the victory, the Rangers extended their winning-streak to a season-high four games.

Posted on

WH’s social media vax campaign to include Dr. Fauci on Snapchat

How do you do, fellow kids?

The Biden administration will launch a media blitz next week to promote the coronavirus vaccine — that will include having 80-year-old Dr. Anthony Fauci target young people with clips on Snapchat, according to a report on Sunday.

As part of the campaign, the administration has also enlisted Facebook and Twitter to send push notifications to users informing them about their eligibility for the shots, Axios reported.

The push is set to start Monday in support of President Biden’s April 19 deadline for all states to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to US residents 16 and older, the report said.

Biden will reportedly film a PSA to be sent out on digital platforms and Vice President Kamala Harris will take part in social media publicity and do an interview with a North Carolina newspaper.

The social campaign will target groups who may experience higher rates of hesitancy about getting the shot, including Latino and black communities and conservatives, according to Axios.

In addition to helping with outreach to kids on Snapchat — the messaging app popular with young people — Fauci is also expected to do local TV and radio interviews, the report said.

Other members of the administration, such as Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, will also be available for interviews.

President Joe Biden will reportedly be filming a PSA for the COVID-19 vaccine.
President Joe Biden will reportedly be filming a PSA for the COVID-19 vaccine.
REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

Outlets will include Telemundo, All Ag News and a morning show hosted by comedian Rickey Smiley, according to the report.

The White House will reportedly also put up doctors for national televised interviews.

Additionally, the administration will be sending a social media toolkit by email to 6,000 community partners, including churches and doctors, so they can help spread the word.

Biden originally said he wanted all states to make all adults eligible for the jab by May 1, but later revised the date to April 19, which falls on Monday.

Half of US adults have already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday.

Posted on

How black artists are breaking country music’s color barrier

When Nashville breakout Mickey Guyton gave a powerful performance of “Black Like Me” at the Grammys last month, it was a statement moment for her and all of the other African-American artists who are stomping across country music’s color lines.

No doubt — black artists such as Guyton, Kane Brown, Jimmie Allen and Nashville veteran Darius Rucker are leading a diversity movement in the traditionally white country-music industry. Look no further than the genre’s two biggest awards shows: After Rucker became only the second black artist to ever co-host the CMAs in November, Guyton will be the first African-American woman to co-host the Academy of Country Music Awards — with Keith Urban — on Sunday.

On top of that, the ACMs will feature a record five black acts performing. Guyton, Brown and Allen will all take the stage, as well as Americana duo the War and Treaty, while gospel star CeCe Winans will join Carrie Underwood for a special duet.

Jimmie Allen
Jimmie Allen
John Shearer

Not to mention, Allen has already been announced as the new male artist of the year  — a historic victory for the “Best Shot” singer as the first black recipient of an ACM new artist award.

“It’s about time,” Allen, 34, told The Post. “What I’m hoping it does is open some doors for more black artists to have success in country and more black artists to feel comfortable enough to do country if that’s what they want to do.”

After Allen made his ACMs history, Guyton will make hers on Sunday. “We’re incredibly proud to have her as the co-host,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “She’s got the wonderful personality and is so talented. And she’s a member of our Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, so we work a lot with her.”

Despite her recent buzz, Guyton, at 37, is no newcomer to the game. But she’s faced her share of obstacles as a black artist in country music — which perhaps helps explain why she has yet to release a proper debut album despite dropping four EPs since 2014. (Her first full-length is finally coming later this year.)

Mickey Guyton
Mickey Guyton
CBS via Getty Images

“To be honest, I think that we probably … underestimated a lot of [Guyton’s challenges],” said Cindy Mabe, president of her label, Universal Music Group Nashville, “You go out and see it in the marketplace. She’s out on festival dates, and there’s confederate flags flying around.”

But embracing her African-American experience with “Black Like Me” has helped Guyton find her lane, said Mabe: “She took on a whole completely different life of, ‘All right, this is what my mission is: My mission is to open the door wider for other people. I’m gonna say the things that are true to who I am.’ “

Holly Gleason, Nashville Editor of Hits magazine, credits Rucker for jump-starting the current wave of black artists in country music when he made the move from Hootie & the Blowfish to Nashville in 2008.

“I think that Darius Rucker showing up, having No. 1’s … broke the door down,” she said. “And I think that Kane Brown having such massive social-media impact with young people reinforced the message [from Rucker’s success] that younger country-music fans were more interested in the sound of the voice than the color of the skin.”

Darius Rucker
Darius Rucker
Getty Images

Still, country music isn’t exactly woke yet. When young Nashville star Morgan Wallen was caught on video using the N-word earlier this year, it reinforced some racist “good ol’ boy” stereotypes about the genre. But JR Schumann — senior director of music programming (country) on SiriusXM’s “The Highway” channel — says that old stigma is about as played-out as a tattered guitar strap.

Kane Brown
Kane Brown
Getty Images

“A lot of the people that perpetuate the stereotypes of country music aren’t actually familiar with the diversity that exists in country music today,” he said. “Nashville has been a really progressive town a lot longer than it might get credit for.”

Indeed, an artist such as Allen no longer has to worry about being “the only one.” While he’s gotten counsel and commiseration from both Rucker and Brown, he told The Post he “spent the most time talking to Charley Pride about it when he was alive. Me and Charley would talk on the phone every other week about what he went through.”

Charley Pride
Charley Pride
Getty Images for CMA

And when Pride — who was the only other black artist to co-host the ACMs before Guyton, in 1980 and 1984 — received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMAs in November, just a few weeks before he passed, Allen was right there on stage to play tribute to him.

“Every black artist in country now,” he said, “we are all the legacy of Charley Pride.”

Posted on

Nets lose to Heat at buzzer, Kevin Durant leaves with injury

The Nets lost Kevin Durant on Sunday in Miami. Then they lost a heartbreaker.

The Nets blew a seven-point lead in the waning minutes of the game, and got beat by a Bam Adebayo pull-up shot that rattled around and in. It was a 109-107 loss at AmericanAirlines Arena on a day they’ll rue for some time.

Landry Shamet had a season-high 30 points and Kyrie Irving added 20 for the Nets (38-19), who lost Durant after just four minutes to a left leg injury.

After Jimmy Butler — who sat out the game — had called his Heat team soft, Miami proved just a bit tougher on this day. The Nets had led 99-92 with under seven minutes left, but surrendered a 17-8 run, capped by Adebayo’s game-winning shot.

The Heat big man worked on Jeff Green and hit a turnaround at the buzzer. The Nets gave up the final eight points over the last 3 ½ minutes.

After a series of slow starts, this time it was a late-game implosion that cost them.

Bam Adebayo celebrates beating the Nets at the buzzer after Kevin Durant left early with an injury.
Getty Images, AP

“No, we definitely haven’t started well since the All-Star break, minus one or two games,” coach Steve Nash had admitted beforehand. “We definitely take our foot of the gas when some of the stars or usual suspects aren’t in the lineup. I think it’s important for us to take a challenge here to find the motivation to start well.

“We get it when we’re down 12 or 15, but can we start with the mindset to be crisp, sharp, clean to start the game? The ball’s not always going to go in the basket, you’re not always going to play well, but you can have the right mindset. So I think that’s the challenge for us [against Miami].”

The Nets had a horrible start, but it wasn’t about the scoreline but the injury list.

Durant came out aggressively and scored eight straight points, but left the game with 7:57 left in the first with a left thigh contusion after being fouled by Trevor Ariza.

The Nets fell behind 14-8 just moments later on an Ariza 3-pointer, and after they had some sloppy turnovers against Miami’s confounding zone, allowed eight unanswered points to fall behind 42-35.

It was 44-37 with 7:15 in the half on free throws by Dewayne Dedmon. But that’s when the Nets responded with a 10-2 run, edging ahead by one on a Shamet 3-pointer.

The rest of the contest was a seesaw affair.

Bruce Brown’s 6-foot turnaround put the Nets up 90-89 with 8:48 remaining. Another 10-2 run, this time by Miami, put Brooklyn in a seven-point hole on a driving reverse by Goran Dragic.

The Nets and Shamet responded again. Trailing 99-92 with 6:50 to play, Brooklyn reeled off 13 unanswered points. The Nets held Miami scoreless for three minutes, going 0-for-3 with a pair of turnovers.

Back-to-back corner 3s by Shamet put them ahead by four and sent Miami into a timeout. A Joe Harris drive made it 105-99 with 4:04 to play, but the Nets couldn’t hold on.

The Nets saw Miami pull even with a 10-2 run, a Dragic transition layup knotting it at 107-all. Then Adebayo won it.

Posted on

Trevor Lawrence thanks Jaguars fans for wedding gifts

Trevor Lawrence vows to reciprocate the gifts fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars sent him for his wedding last weekend with a sizable donation.

“Thank you Jaguars fans.. We really appreciate the wedding gifts and donations for charities of our choice! In addition to the donations, Marissa and I will also be donating $20K to charities in Jacksonville,” Lawrence tweeted Sunday. “Thanks again, we hope to be a part of your community soon.”

Lawrence, the Clemson quarterback projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft later this month by the Jags, married longtime girlfriend Marissa Mowry last weekend in Bluffton, S.C.

Jacksonville fans made charitable donations and bought gifts for the couple through an online marital registry. Fans united to buy a $300 toaster off the registry, with the rest of the donations going to Lawrence’s charity of choice.

Posted on

Yankees’ misery grows with another loss to Rays

Not even Gerrit Cole could save the Yankees from sinking further into the depths of despair.

The $324 million ace tried to play the role of the stopper Sunday and delivered a strong start, but the scuffling offense still came up empty as the Yankees dropped a fifth straight game and were swept by the Rays with a 4-2 loss at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees (5-10) mustered just three hits as the Rays (8-8) continued to have their number, improving to 5-1 against the Yankees this season and 15-3 against them since September 2019.

The last time the Yankees won was Cole’s previous start on Monday against the Blue Jays, but he couldn’t snap them out of their funk on his own. He gave up three runs (two earned) while striking out 10 over 6 ¹/₃ innings, but was burned by some poor defense in a two-run third inning before giving up the go-ahead run in the seventh.

Cole took the mound at 98 pitches to begin the seventh inning in a 2-2 game, having retired 12 straight batters. After Mike Brosseau struck out, Joey Wendle lined a single and Yoshi Tsutsugo ripped a double to the right-center field gap to put the Rays up 3-2 and end Cole’s day.

Wendle later took Darren O’Day deep in the ninth inning for an insurance run.

Aaron Judge reacts during the Yankees' loss to the Rays today.
Aaron Judge reacts during the Yankees’ loss to the Rays today.
Robert Sabo

Giancarlo Stanton had given the Yankees — off to their worst start since 1997 — their first lead of the series in the second inning when he ripped a solo home run to the short porch in right field. It was the first time the Yankees had led in 22 innings, dating to the sixth inning of Wednesday’s loss to the Blue Jays.

It didn’t last long, though, as the Yankees gave it right back in the top of the third, courtesy of a few costly defensive gaffes from their outfield. Mike Zunino singled to lead off the inning before Kevin Kiermaier hit a bloop to center field. Aaron Hicks tricked Zunino, faking like he was going to catch it before it fell. He could have gotten the force out at second, but he bobbled the ball and Zunino reached safely.

Yandy Diaz came up next and grounded a game-tying RBI single to center field, where Hicks again couldn’t field it cleanly, allowing Kiermaier to take third base. That proved costly when Manuel Margot hit a sacrifice fly to left field for the 2-1 lead. Even that play did not go smoothly, as Clint Frazier fired the throw into no-man’s land between the mound and first base, allowing Diaz to tag up and slide into second safely. But Cole was able to work out of the jam with a strikeout.

The Yankees came back to tie it in the fifth inning, when Gio Urshela led off with a double and eventually scored on a two-out, RBI single from DJ LeMahieu. But with the crowd on its feet hoping for more, Aaron Judge struck out to strand a pair of runners.

LeMahieu later had another chance to play hero, sending a charge into the crowd with a fly ball to right field in the seventh inning, but it fell into the glove of Margot on the warning track.